As part of my Guest blog series for authors and fellow bloggers I am proud to present another guest blog spot. Peter Fugazzotto
Make sure you check outby Peter Fugazzotto. Available 10-1-15!
Buy on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B015TBKM98
Three Strategies for Churning Out Books Like a Full-Time Writer When You Have a Job by Peter Fugazzotto
A lot of us dream about becoming a full-time writer. But the reality is that most of us are holding down other jobs to pay the bills. That often means we have a handful of hours available to write.
So how do we pursue this dream when not writing full-time?
Here are three strategies I’ve used to maximize my time so I can publish a steady stream of books and move closer to my dream.
- Write down measurable, annual goals
There’s a big difference between saying I want to be a writer and I am going to write two novels and three short stories this year. Which one do you think is more achievable? Which one will bring you closer to the dream of becoming a full-time writer?
That’s why I am a big fan of SMART goals: goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.
How many books do you want to write next year? How many words will you write a week? How many stories will you submit for publication next year? How many conferences will you attend? Will you participate in a workshop?
Goals are nothing more than a written plan of the steps you will take to become a full-time writer. Goals also help you orient when the times get tough.
While I have broader 10-year goals, I like to define goals on an annual basis so I can be focused.
Remember that goals are a plan and it’s okay if you don’t meet all your goals in a given year.
- Plot out your stories in advance of writing them
When I first started writing novels, I could never finish them. I would have a good idea, a few interesting characters and an exciting opening. Inevitably, I would hit a point about 40,000 words in where the story died: the dreaded writer’s block.
This usually happened because I allowed the characters to drift into unforeseen directions, ones that while intriguing did not support the story as a whole.
Since those days, I have learned to plot my stories in advance and my novel drafts get finished.
Plotting shapes a story into a cohesive whole. I start with the seed of an idea, build character arcs, create lines of rising tensions, and then construct a plot weave that details every single scene I will write. This becomes my roadmap.
Having a detailed scene weave in place means there is never a question about where the story will go. And instead, the only thing you need to do is write to get to the end.
- Write every day
If you are holding down another job, you need to write every day.
Writing every day does two things.
First, it allows you to stay in the flow of your story which means that you need less time to reorient yourself to the scene, the character and the action. You spend less time catching up and more time writing. Important when your time is tight.
Second, writing every day is the best way to make progress.
I had a period of time when I could only commit half an hour a day to writing during the work week. Each day I wrote 500-750 words per day. That’s minimally 2,500 words from Monday to Friday. I tried to match that goal on my weekends which meant 5,000 words a week. That’s 20,000 words per month. Four months of work can mean the first draft of an 80,000 word novel.
Commit to those four month blocks twice a year and you can produce 2 novels.
About the author:
Peter Fugazzotto is a fantasy author who fights to protect the earth by day and battles his ego with armbars and slashing sticks by night. He has won a World Championship in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and lives in Northern California.
His short stories have been published in:
and his work has appeared in audio form on:
His most recent fantasy novel Five Bloody Heads will be released on October 1st, 2015. This is the third book in his grimdark Hounds of the North series, which follows the adventures and struggles of a band of aging Northern clan mercenaries. Five Bloody Heads is a gritty fantasy story of a greedy bandit-turned-bounty hunter tracking down five ruthless killers along the desolate border of the North.
Read more from Peter at http://www.peterfugazzotto.com
About the book:
A simple job. Hunt down five killers to secure a bounty of five gems. But how much blood will be spilled?
A gritty fantasy adventure of clashing swords, dark magic and death.
Spear Spyrchylde is failing miserably as an outlaw in the borderlands of the North. Robbing pilgrims has resulted in only a few measly coins. Upstart warlords are encroaching on his territory. And his own impoverished crew is talking mutiny.
So when a blood-covered girl offers Spear Spyrchylde a bounty of five gems for the heads of the five men who killed her family, he jumps at the chance to change his fortune.
He’s got what it takes to hunt down these men: a hardened crew of bandits, a mysterious companion in a dark magic cloak, and his own blood-soaked sword.
But tracking down the five seasoned killers in the wilderness of the borderlands won’t be easy. Especially when one of them is Spear’s former henchman Cruhund, now an insane warlord garrisoned behind the walls of a mountain fortress.
So when everything starts to go wrong, Spear will need to decide how much blood he is willing to spill to fulfill his promise to deliver the five bloody heads.